Israeli authorities stopped Indonesia’s foreign minister from entering Ramallah to visit the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian foreign ministry said on Sunday. The Israeli decision to prevent Retno Marsudi’s entry to Ramallah was sparked when she refused to meet with Israeli government officials in Jerusalem, Haaretz reported.
Marsudi was reportedly travelling to Ramallah to dedicate an honorary Indonesian consulate to the PA and to meet Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and President Mahmoud Abbas. There are no diplomatic ties between Indonesia and Israel, but Haartez reported that in recent days there has been contact between the two countries, as Israeli officials insisted that if Marsudi visited Ramallah she would also need to meet with Israeli politicians in Jerusalem.
While Israel, as a result of policy changes in recent years, does not allow foreign ministers from countries with which it has relations to visit the PA without also visiting Israeli officials, ministers from Arab and Muslim countries had previously been allowed to go to Ramallah only.
Israel’s foreign ministry declined to comment and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office did not immediately respond to an AFP query. Marsudi reportedly announced her visit during the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Jakarta held earlier this month. During the summit, the OIC called for a ban on products from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.